About the song

Dr. Hook’s “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman” isn’t your typical love song. Released in 1978 on their album Pleasure & Pain, this disco-tinged, soulful ballad rose to international fame a year later, becoming a chart-topping sensation in the UK and reaching a respectable number six on the US Billboard Hot 100. But what makes this song by the American boogie rock band so enduring?

The answer lies in its ability to capture the euphoria and, perhaps more importantly, the delightful absurdity of being smitten with someone captivating. Written by Even Stevens, the song takes a lighthearted approach to infatuation. It’s not a grand declaration of love or a soulful ballad yearning for connection. Instead, “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman” revels in the goofy, sometimes nonsensical feelings that come with being under the spell of someone beautiful.

Produced by Ron Haffkine, the song boasts a sound that perfectly complements its theme. Recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama, the track features a propulsive disco beat, courtesy of drummer John Wolters. Lush keyboards by Billy Francis and Bob “Willard” Henke create a warm bed of sound, while Ray Sawyer’s instantly recognizable, growling vocals deliver the lyrics with a playful wink.

The song’s success can also be attributed to its clever wordplay and relatable observations. Dr. Hook, known for their tongue-in-cheek humor and blue-collar rock persona, doesn’t shy away from portraying the slightly embarrassing side effects of infatuation. Lines like “You walk in the room and I forget my name” and “Suddenly the airwaves are filled with your song” paint a picture of someone completely swept off their feet, their logic and focus delightfully compromised.

“When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman” isn’t just a catchy tune; it’s a humorous and relatable take on the experience of being lovestruck. It may not be a timeless ballad professing undying devotion, but its lighthearted celebration of infatuation and the goofy way it can make us behave has secured its place in pop culture history. So, the next time you find yourself tongue-tied or inexplicably drawn to a particular song on the radio, put on “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman” and revel in the delightful absurdity of love’s early stages.


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